Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Black Beetle ~ "NO WAY OUT" ~ MONDO Edition

THE BLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT ~ MONDO Poster ~~ Click on the cover for a large preview of NO WAY OUT MONDO Variant Edition ~~

Hello Pulp Friends,

     I am so happy to announce that soon I will have regular, variant and Artist Proof editions of the very first BLACK BEETLE MONDO poster for sale on my webstore (keep an eye on my blogs and on my twitter @f_francavilla for forthcoming updates and more details).

   This huge poster (24"x36") - a nod to the classic serials posters from the '40s - debuted at HeroesCon a couple of weeks ago and it has been the first time MONDO has released a comicbook related poster that is not tied in in a movie (even though we all looking forward to see a Black Beetle movie one day, right? :))

Here's Mondo's Press Release and some detailed close-up shot of the poster courtesy of the Mondo blog.

TITLE: The Black Beetle
ARITST: Francesco Francavilla
SIZE: 24" x 36"
EDITION: 225 (regular), 110 (variant)
PRICE: $55 (regular), $75 (variant)

The Black Beetle is centered on a pulp-noir character and takes place in a fictional universe that's based in Colt City. The character debuted on the pages of Pulp Sunday, Francesco Francavilla's blog devoted to all things pulp, and had a brief life as webcomic before stepping in the print world with an ashcan first, and on the pages of Dark Horse Presents anthology later. Francesco quickly realized that many fans were interested in exploring this world with him, so soon after the short run in DHP, a new 4-issue mini - titled "NO WAY OUT" - was released. The first 2 issues have sold out and have required DH to go back to press for a second printing.

With issue 4 coming out next week and with the first hardcover volume - also titled "NO WAY OUT" - available for pre-orders right now, there is no better time to jump on board of the fantastic adventures of The Black Beetle.

The Black Beetle is a Detective/Vigilante SuperHero – His mission is to fight crime in Colt City. We don't know who he is, not yet anyway. We do know that he has access to some advantaged technology and that he is patrolling the city streets and protecting the citizens the best he can. He is –after all- one man. Colt City is a fictional city set in the late '40s America on the East Coast and has a very "pulp" vibe to the city's depiction and inhabitants.

Commenting on his collaboration with Mondo, Francavilla said, "I've been a huge fan of Mondo for a while, and I've recently become one of their poster artists (which brings me joy all the time), so you can only imagine how happy I was when I heard that they were a big fan of my creation, The Black Beetle. From there it didn't take too long to get to the poster you see here. Hopefully it's just the first of many. Hope you guys enjoy the poster and consider jumping on the books as well: they are what comics should be: 100% entertainment and FUN! Thanks again, Mondo, for making this happen."

Framed Poster - Photo courtesy of Z-ATL

Have a wonderful Pulp Sunday, everyone :)


Sunday, June 16, 2013

THE BLACK BEETLE ~ NO WAY OUT #4 - The Epic Conclusion!

THE BLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT #4 Cover ~~ Click on the images for biggie ~~

Hello Beetlemaniacs,

    The Black Beetle's NO WAY OUT #4 came out this week and the conclusion of this first miniserie was another big success among readers and critics! Once again, on behalf of everyone who has worked on this book: THANK YOU ALL!
   And don't worry- as you might have seen/read in the last pages of issue 4 (and as you can see from the new header above), more Black Beetle adventures are already on their way to you: look for this fall for the second mini hitting the stores and titled: NECROLOGUE!

    And now here's a partial list of the great reviews BB #4 has received :)

Best Shots Rapid Reviews: 
Black Beetle: No Way Out #4 (of 4) 10/10

At the conclusion of the penultimate issue of this series, it seemed very obvious where the plot was going, but in this final issue Francesco Francavilla pulls the rug out from under us with a clever twist that makes the story that much richer. This is a great conclusion to a smart series filled with mystery and non-stop action that doesn’t let up till the very last panel. Francavilla’s pulp artwork is just dripping with atmosphere in this final issue, highlighted by creative composition, inventive layouts, dark and moody panels swimming with heavy blacks, and some truly gorgeous use of color. The final page sets things up for the next miniseries, which just can’t come soon enough.

Black Beetle: No Way Out #4 Review 4/5
Francavilla just seems to know what he's doing from start to finish with minimal effort, as though he exhales artwork in a finished state.

This Week's Comics! The Winners:
"The Black Beetle in No Way Out" #4
I've been getting a kick out of this pulpy, moody miniseries since it premiered back in January, and this final issue (Francavilla does promise the character will return in another series this fall) is the perfect wrap-up to the writer/artist's experiment in radio-drama-style storytelling.
It's delightful.

The Black Beetle: No Way Out #4 Review 5/5★
Francavilla's characterization of his creator owned Black Beetle character might remind you of characters you would have read in old pulp fiction novels or on radio show broadcasts from the 1930's, and it isn't just his art that relays that theme, it's the language in the dialogue he uses as well. Overall it's just incredibly well done, and it hooks you from the very start. The issue starts with four little words, "tonight is the night," which is enough to prey on any reader's level of curiosity.

Review: Black Beetle: No Way Out #4
Francavilla is crafting a new pulp hero and with each story, Black Beetle gets closer and closer to the Pulp Pantheon.
The end is only the beginning.

Black Beetle #4 Review
As the first, and hopefully not the last, story arc in the adventures of The Black Beetle comes to a close, it is stunningly clear that Francesco Francavilla has delivered the goods.
More Black Beetle would be great. More Francavilla, period!


Comic Review: The Black Beetle: No Way Out #4
Writer and artist Francesco Francavilla wraps up this excellent miniseries with more of the same – excellence. I have to tell you, even though I’ve been reading this character for four issues, it really feels like I’m very familiar with The Beetle and his universe. It’s like when you read a comic that you haven’t read in years and a wave of nostalgia comes rushing back.

It's Wednesday!
I’m constantly finding evidence that supports Carl Jung’s concept of collective unconsciousness. The current trend in pulp comics is one. To varying degrees of success, the books range in type from bringing pulp characters into the 21st century to doing pulp with a modern twist to planting both feet firmly in the genre and creating a classic pulp story. Francavilla’s series plays in the third space and does it marvelously.

Top of the Pull List – The Black Beetle: No Way Out #4
True to the genre, the final installment of No Way Out is a blood-soaked, bullet-riddled page turner.  From the Beetle rocketing down a dark street flanked by shadowy trees to the final ominous pages (that finally shed a little light on the “Intermezzo” sequences), this book practically grabs you by the eyelids and commands you to keep reading.

Comic Review: Black Beetle: No Way Out #4 (Dark Horse) 4/5
Black Beetle has been one of those series (miniseries?) that stands out as what noir comics should be. Each exciting issue with it’s colorful villains, understated action scenes, and startling detective work keeps the reader on the edge of there seat. The book keeps that classic noir tone of great stories like Dick Tracy and the Rocketeer.

Pulp-inspired antics with a cool character and wonderfully moody art… It’s a win/win situation for me, like Batman without all the troublesome elements or a new-fangled tech-savvy Shadow. Check it out!

Comics Should Be Cheap - Staff's picks
Black Beetle: No Way Out #4 ($3.99) – This miniseries has been an absolute delight for fans of pulpy vigilante stories. The old school vibe meets modern technique that Francesco Francavilla is known for in terms of visual is equally present in his writing, resulting in a comic that is a pure delight to read. Here’s hoping we will see much more Black Beetle in the future!

The conclusion to Francesco Francavilla‘s awesome creator owned series from Dark Horse. This was a labor of love, people! Francavilla pretty much did everything on this title and it showed. He’s got a great passion for this series and it’s fantatic that we’re going to get more of it in the future. If you missed this series, for whatever reason, make sure you get the collection when it comes out and pre-order the next Black Beetle series from Dark Horse. You seriously can’t go wrong.

Is It Good? The Black Beetle: No Way Out Part 4 9/10★
Yes, it’s quite good. It makes me want to wear a suit and go to a jazz club. The reality of that would drive me insane, but it makes me want to act classy. It’s a period comic done to perfection. The art is cool, the action is swift, the mystery is compelling, and the colors are dark.

Review: The Black Beetle #4 4/5★
if you haven’t already, get caught-up with this series. Its richly-textured, atmospherically alive art and simple yet gripping storytelling has been a hallmark of my formative days here at Comic Bastards, and a credit to Dark Horse’s line as a whole. To put it more succinctly, much like a well-aimed bullet in a damp Colt City night, The Black Beetle “No Way Out” is unmissable.

The Black Beetle: No Way Out #4
Hot dang, denizens, this was one heck of fun noir/mystery book. Francavilla went for a very specific look and tone for his story, and he achieved both with flying colors--or rather dark and moody flying colors.
The Black Beetle is a must-own book, denizens, doubly so if you are a fan of old noir books and film, or if you are a fan of the vintage heroes. If you have not bought any of the issues for this series thus far, and you are a completist like me, then you might want to hold on until late September when a $19.99 cover price hardcover collection is released.

GonzoGeek Comics Reviews - The Black Beetle
No Way Out has been a great read.  Francavilla's got his thumb right on the pulpy pulse of Colt City.  The corruption runs deep and only the Black Beetle stands between the citizens and the criminals.  If his Phantom of the Paradise headgear doesn't scare you straight, his matte black automatic will stop you cold.

The Black Beetle #4 4.5/5
The art, as always, is fantastic. The pages with the big reveals are great, and I love how Francavilla split the panels up with puzzle pieces. To be honest, I want the first page with Black Beetle and puzzle pieces to frame and put on my wall. I love it that much.
In all, it’s a damn fine issue, a damn fine four issue run, and a damn fine bit of news that Black Beetle will return.

Francavilla has long shown himself to be a hyper talented artist, but here he's been spreading his writing wings to whip up some brilliant superhero noir (as Dark Horse likes to call it).  This book is slick, and I cannot wait to see how it all ends up.

Black Beetle #4

Francavilla writes a better detective story than any issue of Detective Comics I’ve read in a few years. Great stuff!